It was a moment of inspiration.
I was trying to calm my nerves the morning before one of my first big training sessions in front of Indians. As I looked over my notes, I came to the part where I would quiz participants on how many states there are in India. (You don’t usually get a uniform answer for this one from Indians.)
Then I started thinking, What if they challenge me? What if they demand to see a list? I can only name about five states off the top of my head!
It was too late to get something printed. To add to it, this was the first training I had done for this company and one of my bosses was going to be there in the session. I had to think of something fast.
Ok, I’ll memorize them.
Seriously? You’ll memorize 28 state names in 30 minutes?
Yup, and I’ll even do it alphabetically.
My mind went back to fourth grade when we learned to say all fifty states of the USA in alphabetical order…with a song. Many Americans reading along will immediately remember the “Fifty Nifty United States” song we learned as kids.
Songs are great ways to memorize information quickly, and the tune often stays with you for life.
I quickly came up with a tune that helped me learn all the states of India. I impressed the participants, my boss, and myself. The more amazing thing is that I can still remember it today. So, I thought it would be worth sharing.
A few comments before I share the song:
- There will be 29 states in India as of 2 June 2014 when Telangana becomes a state. I conveniently added it to the end of the song, as far away from Andhra Pradesh as possible. The maps also reflect the new boundaries.
- The more catchy and quirky the song, the easier it is to remember. Don’t expect AR Rahman or Rabindranath Tagore quality work here.
- The tune may sound childish, but it is intentional to make it easier to remember. If you find it to juvenile for your tastes, you are welcome to come up with something more elegant.
- I know the tune itself is American sounding. If someone can come up with a more Indian, but equally catchy sound, please do it.
- I profusely apologize for the drove of pronunciation errors you are about to hear.
- Union Territories were not included at the composer’s discretion.
Ok, here’s the song:
Images provided by Planemad through Wikipedia Commons